Championship leader with a big advantage at Suzuka, with title rival Vettel starting ninth on the gird
Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two in qualifying for Japanese Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton took pole position for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel could only qualify ninth at Suzuka.
The Ferrari driver was caught out by mixed weather conditions in the final part of the session on Saturday and failed to set a representative lap time. The German was more then four seconds slower then Hamilton’s pole-setting time of one minute, 27.760 seconds.
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Hamilton leads Vettel by 50 points going into the 53-lap race, and with Mercedes-GP teammate Valtteri Bottas starting second, he is in a strong position to strengthen his advantage even further to close in on sealing a fifth drivers' world title.
Max Verstappen was third in his Red Bull Racing car, ahead of Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
The second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo will start 15th after suffering turbo problems that meant he did not set a time in the second part of qualifying.
Sunday’s race begins at 9.10am UAE time.